This is just a short preview of all the teams the Texans will face this year. How they did in the draft and how I expect them to do this year.
- Indianapolis Colts ( 10-6)
The Colts addressed one of their biggest concerns with their first two picks taking two offensive linemen Castanzo and Ijaluna. However they did little to fix one of the worst rushing attacks in the NFL. Peyton is not getting any younger and sooner or later the lack of a running game is going to bite them. I think the Colts may take a step back this year and open up room for the Texans to take the division.
Prediction: I think the Texans will split the series with Indy again with both teams winning at home.
- Miami Dolphins (7-9)
Miami was the opposite of the Texans last year they had a good defense and a horrible offense. They addressed some of those needs by drafting OL Mike Pouncey in the first, RB Daniel Thomas in the second and WR Edmonds Gates who should be able to stretch the defense and open up the field for the rest of Miami's play makers. With the issues they have at quarterback I really don't expect their offense to get much better.
Prediction: Texans take it to a Miami team with no general.
- New Orleans Saints (11-5)
Without their rushing attack the Saints put a top 5 offense on the field. They ranked 28th running the football last year and I really believe that is what kept them from going deep in the playoffs. I think the Saints trading back into the first to take Mark Ingram is going to take an already potent offense to the next level. Pair that with their defense that is already excellent and they should be a favorite to go deep into the postseason.
Prediction: Let's be realistic the Saints have had our number and at home should win this one handily.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
What really needs to be said about Pittsburgh?? They fielded the best defense in the NFL and only made it better with the majority of their picks going towards their defense. With Rothlisberger playing a full season (If we have a full season) the offense should be good as well.
Prediction: I think we lose a heartbreaker at home in the dramatic fashion the Texans have become known for.
- Oakland Raiders (8-8)
The Raiders where second in the NFL against the pass last year while ranking 28th in run defense. They did nothing in the draft to fix their run D and with the departure of Nambdi and Huff from the defensive backfield this defense should take a huge step back.
Prediction: Nambdi is going to pump his new team up and Houston is going to light the skies up at home against a weak Oakland team
- Baltimore Ravens (12-4)
Baltimore struggled in the passing game on both sides of the ball ranking 21st in pass defense and 20th in passing offense. By adding Jimmy Smith in the first round and Torrey Smith in the second expect them to be all around better in the passing game.
Prediction: I don't see any way we go into Baltimore and come out with a win.
- Tennessee Titans (6-10)
The Titans are a complete mess. There is no way Jake Locker and Akeem Ayers come in and turn a team around that ranked in the bottom third of just about every statistical category. The Titans should be right in the middle of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.
Prediction: I see the Texans pulling the sweep in a big way.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8)
The Jags will be fighting the Titans for last place in the division. The only bright spot on this team is MJD. Mike Sims-Walker is gone, the O-line is horrible and they did nothing in the draft to help one of the worst defenses in the league. Good luck Gabbert!!!
Prediction: The Texans will be looking for revenge after the fluke hail mary. I see a sweep on the horizon here as well.
- Cleveland Browns (5-11)
Cleveland is another one of those teams that ranked in the lower third of a lot of offensive and defensive categories. Bringing in Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard should improve their horrible run defense. Greg Little should give Colt a decent deep threat and Peyton Hillis is who he is. All in all they had a good draft (especially the Atlanta trade) but they are still too far out to be considered a playoff contender.
Prediction: Houston has too many weapons and should beat a weak Browns team.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-6)
Tampa Bay is one of those teams like the Texans, teetering on the brink of breaking through to the next level. Josh Freeman is coming into his 4th year and has good weapons in Mike Williams and Arrellious Ben. With the running game finding an identity last year if the passing game can take another step forward this offense should be pretty good. On the defensive side of the ball they were good against the pass 7th and horrible against the run 28th. Now that they brought Adrian Clayborne and Da'quan Bowers in that run defense should get better. Look for the Bucs to get over that hump this year.
Prediction: Texans go into Tampa and win a nail biter.
- Jags. See first part.
- Atlanta Falcons (13-3)
The Falcons took a huge gamble trading the deed to their house their first born and their left nut for Julio Jones. I agree he has elite talent but it seems to me they could have used more help in the defensive backfield considering they already have Roddy White, Micheal Jenkins and Tony Gonzalez.
Prediction: We get Atlanta at home but I think they are going to be a little too much to handle.
- Cincinnati Bengals (4-12)
Although they went 4-12 the Bengals where middle of the pack in most categories. With Carson Palmers imminent departure the loss of T.O. and what looks to be Ochocinco as well the Bengals where forced to make QB and WR a major priority. So they weren't able to address any of their other glaring needs i.e. fresh blood in the running game and help along the O-line. Looks like the beginning of a rebuild in Cincy.
Prediction: No way the Texans lose this one even if it is in Cincy.
- Carolina Panthers (2-14)
I could spend all day talking about Carolinas glaring needs but we will keep this one short. If the Cam Newton experiment doesn't work out they will probably have a good shot at Andrew Luck. About the only bright spot on this team is the Deangello Williams Jonathan Stewart combo. Steve Smith is getting old and both lines suck.
Prediction: Texans win
- Indy. See first part.
- Titans. See first part.
I know this looks a little optomistic but I really think we are going 11-5 next year and winning the division.